2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

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AHB
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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by AHB » 22:51 Tue 25 Jun 2019

It was great to have the opportunity to try a range of wines from this vintage. It quickly became clear that this is a vintage which produced Ports with far more obvious tannins than we’ve seen in young Vintage Port for many years, backing fruit which is sweeter and fatter than 2016 or 2015. There is a delightful range of styles to choose from with big, brutal and old-fashioned monsters (Maynard Organic) contrasting with refined and elegant wines (Warre, Quinta de la Rosa). There is a real range to choose from and what was quickly obvious from our discussions was that different people liked different wines.

My thanks to all the producers who provided bottles. We had a very educational evening and have each learned exactly which wines we want to add to our cellars!
Top Ports in 2018 (so far): Niepoort VV (1960's Bottling), Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994 and San Leonardo Very Old White (Bottled 2018)
2017 Ports of the year: Fonseca 1927 and Quinta do Noval 1927

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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by DRT » 23:30 Tue 25 Jun 2019

AHB wrote:
22:51 Tue 25 Jun 2019
We had a very educational evening and have each learned exactly which wines we want to add to our cellars!
A splendid outcome! I am just sorry I couldn't be there this evening as it sounds like it was a fascinating event.

Please can the attendees ensure they post their tasting notes so that we have as wide a range of opinions as possible :wink:
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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AHB
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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by AHB » 12:58 Wed 26 Jun 2019

I’ve had some news from Quinta do Vallado shared with me. At our tasting, we had two bottles of 2017 Vintage Port from Vallado – a classic Vintage and an Adelaide Vintage.

The news I have had shared with me is that Vallado make only one Vintage Port, which was labelled as Quinta do Vallado Vintage Port in 2016 and 2017.

In 2015 and earlier years their Port was labelled as Quinta do Vallado Adelaide Vintage Port but the name was changed in 2016 to avoid confusion with the Quinta do Vallado Adelaide red wine.
Top Ports in 2018 (so far): Niepoort VV (1960's Bottling), Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994 and San Leonardo Very Old White (Bottled 2018)
2017 Ports of the year: Fonseca 1927 and Quinta do Noval 1927

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AHB
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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by AHB » 20:34 Wed 26 Jun 2019

I'm so glad a took a couple of the unfinished bottles home with me. I've been in the office all day remembering the taste of the 2017 vintage ports and had some of the Quevedo to accompany my jacket potato and bolognaise this evening. An excellent combination - but not really quenching my thirst for more of the vintage!
Top Ports in 2018 (so far): Niepoort VV (1960's Bottling), Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994 and San Leonardo Very Old White (Bottled 2018)
2017 Ports of the year: Fonseca 1927 and Quinta do Noval 1927

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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by jdaw1 » 21:49 Wed 26 Jun 2019

The Ports:
  1. A1 = GST; A2 = G; A3 = Ni; A4 = ChG 2017; A5 = F; A6 = My; A7 = Pt; A8 = Cs; A9 = RPE; A9 = Ra;
  2. B0 = B10 = K; B1 = N; B2 = NN; B3 = W; B4 = Bs; B5 = Ck; B6 = MyO; B7 = PtM; B8 = Jv; B9 = Sk;
  3. C1 = D; C2 = T; C3 = TVVV; C4 = Ch; C5 = Rs; C6 = Pi; C7 = Qv; C8 = Vl; C9 = VS;
  4. D0 = D10 = VlA; D1 = Cr; D2 = CrS; D3 = V; D4 = VC; D5 = Mt; D6 = ; D7 = Sq; D8 = RP; D9 = B; D11 = VM.

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WS1
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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by WS1 » 09:55 Thu 27 Jun 2019

A9 = RPE; A9 = Ra;

? I thought A9 was RPE and not RA

Please let me know what I missed not tried.

regards

WS1
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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by NickA » 14:40 Thu 27 Jun 2019

Thanks echoed for organisation and supply of ports. With 40+ notes to type up it is likely to be the weekend for me. I have finally placed my first orders for 17 and heavily into to Dow, Grahams and Capela that I thought showed superbly (and were available!). There were plenty more and clearly a vintage to buy with confidence. I found the tannins rich and silky. Sometimes even wondered where it was with all the fruit on display. The acid cut was universally excellent with very few unbalanced at this stage. In some (rare) cases 17 didn't better their 16s but then I thought 16 was a lovely vintage anyway. Many thanks again.

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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by Constandia » 16:07 Thu 27 Jun 2019

Thank you very much for such an interesting and informative event. Most ports were fascinating and complex with high levels of fruit concentration. I felt the tannins although very much present were soft and gave an enormous hidden support towards the structure and longevity of the wines. Very balanced examples indeed. Pleasantly surprised by Burmester and Pintas. Just starting typing my notes, will add slowly but steadily. Thanks again!

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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by jdaw1 » 23:22 Thu 27 Jun 2019

I share the team thanks about the event, both to Alex and Tony, but also to the shippers and quintas who sent bottles. Thank you.

jdaw1 wrote:
22:00 Wed 26 Jun 2019
To drink now, wonderful. Does it have old bones? Hmm – not many of this vintage will.
this vintage is soft, with red or exotic fruit — pineapple quite often — and perfume, but of middling weight. The perfume notes, seen in many, reminded me of 2007 soon after release. Some quite dry; others with perfectly balanced sweetness.

To drink young, e.g. now, delicious. Delicious. Old bones? No, I think not.

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AHB
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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by AHB » 14:13 Fri 28 Jun 2019

My experience of Port tasted on release only goes back to 1994, but my experience of older Port goes back further.

It’s my belief that longevity in Port comes from the acidity in the wine. This is what appears to be keeping wines alive and fresh when old Port is being drunk. I thought that many of the 2017s had lots of acidity.

My opinion is that most of these wines will drink superbly for 50 years (except in their teenage angst years) and quite a few - like the Niepoort - will make for those beautiful 100 year old Ports we fans crave to drink, with their multiple layers or fruit, mace and leather. Which of these in time will become the next 1912 Cockburn or 1912 Taylor I can’t be certain, but I am certain that some of them will.
Top Ports in 2018 (so far): Niepoort VV (1960's Bottling), Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994 and San Leonardo Very Old White (Bottled 2018)
2017 Ports of the year: Fonseca 1927 and Quinta do Noval 1927

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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by flash_uk » 14:29 Fri 28 Jun 2019

Great work Alex and Tony, many thanks. And many thanks to the producers who kindly shared bottles for us to taste.

What about these 2017s then? I was struck by how integrated and balanced many of the ports were, with fruit, tannin and acidity all accessible. Noses were invariably lively, open, fruity and perfumed. A few showed exceptional dryness, many had tannin to the fore, but these tannins tended to be soft and rounded. Plenty of fruit too, but the balance I referred to previously means I wouldn't class these as "fruit bombs". I also felt a significant proportion of the ports were less than full-bodied, which was a surprise for me. Colour too was interesting. Few (if any?) reached the levels of inky purple and black that have been seen in the recent decade. Indeed some were simply a regular red, belying their very young age.

The result of all of this is a vintage of ports which are very integrated/together albeit with quite a wide range of characteristics across the vintage. On the whole, the quality is consistently high. Many are very approachable now.

I wonder if ports on release which are approachable and delicious aged 2 years creates a belief that the components for a long life may have been sacrificed? Will this prove to be a top drawer vintage when we look back in 45 years? I turn to the balanced and prominent presence in these ports of all three foundations - fruit, tannin and acidity, and this would suggest to me that 2017 will likely give great pleasure in 50 years or so. Just like the 1970s are giving now.

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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by AHB » 17:58 Sat 29 Jun 2019

I didn't taste the 1970s when they were first released, and don't really remember reading the impressions of the critics who did. However, I do have some notes from people who tasted the 1963 vintage when first released. These were widely applauded as being full of fruit and likely to be ready early for drinking. I drank some 1963 when they were 21 and they were fabulous, but they were also drinking really nicely at 50 (although some were a bit tired) and many are starting to get a second wind.

The 1994s were stuffed full of fruit when first released and drank astonishingly well when first bottled. The Vesuvio never really closed down - it may have had a bit of an off phase for a year or two, but nothing like the traditional shut-down that Port used to go through, and it still has so much more to give.

The 2017 vintage reminds me of the 1994 and the 2011 vintages. Lots of fruit and fabulously balanced Ports. I agree with Mike; I think this vintage will be a top vintage when we look back in 45 years. Will it be as good as 1970? Perhaps it will. If I was asked to list my top vintages since WW2 that list would be 1955, 1966, 1970, 1994, 2011 and now 2017.
Top Ports in 2018 (so far): Niepoort VV (1960's Bottling), Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994 and San Leonardo Very Old White (Bottled 2018)
2017 Ports of the year: Fonseca 1927 and Quinta do Noval 1927

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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by rich_n » 19:17 Sun 30 Jun 2019

I have finally had time to add my tasting notes, it was enjoyable to review the various ports that I'd tried! Thanks for those who organised and sourced the ports, it was extremely enlightening to a relative VP novice (certainly in terms of tasting young ports) such as myself, and I was grateful to those who provided some experienced wisdom on the night. Certainly I found some outstanding ports that I was very excited about (including one or two I did not really know), and plenty more very good ports that were enjoyable to taste. I'm excited to see how the cases I've ordered age over the years!

Thanks once again, I hope I can make some future tasting opportunities when I'm up in London in the future.

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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by AHB » 12:59 Tue 02 Jul 2019

Richard Mayson has posted his tasting notes of the 2017 Vintage Ports on his website.

Julia Harding has also published hers, but I am not a subscriber to Purple Pages so can't read her article.
Top Ports in 2018 (so far): Niepoort VV (1960's Bottling), Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994 and San Leonardo Very Old White (Bottled 2018)
2017 Ports of the year: Fonseca 1927 and Quinta do Noval 1927

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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by forest26 » 15:26 Tue 02 Jul 2019

Just getting my act together with regards to posting notes.

Thank you to everyone who attended.

For me, the 2017 vintage is a notch up from the rather floral 2016 vintage. The 2017 vintage seems to have more presence than the 2016 and I enjoyed them more for that. What really impresses is how approachable they are even at this early stage in their development. There was no chewing on grainy tannins and a throat-ripping alcoholic kick that I associated in tastings in the distant past. All the ports showed fairly and there was a good range - none of them failed. I think I rather enjoy the 2017's.

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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by forest26 » 15:32 Tue 02 Jul 2019

If you have a subscription the review is here - https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles ... t-scriptum

I'll ask if I can reproduce some of her notes as there is some interesting differences of opinion.

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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by PCM » 12:12 Wed 03 Jul 2019

AHB wrote:
12:59 Tue 02 Jul 2019
Julia Harding has also published hers, but I am not a subscriber to Purple Pages so can't read her article.
Yes, you can (free to Barack Obama :) ): there is a free one-hour membership you can apply for (only once!), enough to read/copy the two articles of Julia Harding.

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Re: 2017s, B&F, Tue 25 June 2019

Post by DaveRL » 21:16 Fri 05 Jul 2019

I'd like to add my thanks to Tony and Alex for organising, and to the shippers and producers for sending us some great Ports. What a splendid line up. Great to meet some journalists too. Hopefully some of the less widely drunk Ports can raise their profiles with the various write ups. They deserve to.

Many Ports had fabulous fruit, balancing tannins and acidity, but overall a lovely freshness. Even at this stage many were drinking well, and those that were less approachable have plenty of time to integrate. I also think that many have a very long life ahead of them. On the basis of this tasting, 2017 is a very good vintage indeed.

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